There is no clearly defined line that separates moderate drinking from problem drinking. If you feel ashamed of your drinking, hide your habit from others, or feel that you “need” to drink in order to feel better, you may have a drinking problem. Many people attempt to stop or cut down on their alcohol consumption, only to fail. It can be easy to feel hopeless in this situation, but remember that there is a help. If you think you have a drinking problem, here are the five things you should do.
Confide in Others
Acknowledging an addiction can be an isolating and scary process. There is no reason that you should have to suffer on your own. Confide in loved ones and people you care about and express your desire to stop drinking. You may feel that people will be angry or lash out at you, but most people find that their realization is met with compassion.
Get Medical Attention
Depending on how much you have been drinking, you may experience withdrawal upon cessation. This can be a serious health issue, and you’ll want to make sure that you receive the proper care. Talk to your doctor, or consider seeking guidance from an alcohol treatment center that specializes in this area. In Florida, the Beachway Therapy Center offers both detox and rehabilitation services. Visit their facility here, or research medical professionals in your area that can help you understand the process.
If you are unable to stop drinking on your own, you’ll want to go through rehabilitation. After the detoxification process, you’ll be able to stop drinking without any physical issues. But you’ll still have the mental desire to drink. Rehab will get you in touch with doctors, counselors, and other users in recovery so that you can talk about your problem and learn healthy ways to cope. Rehab can be an inpatient process, where you stay at the treatment center full time. It can also be an outpatient process, where you continue to live your daily life, but with regular visits for support.
Build a Support Network
As you transition out of rehabilitation, you’ll want to make sure you have a good support network. Have someone you can confide in when you feel the desire to drink. You want to avoid feeling isolated or alone, as this can often be the cause of a relapse.
Find New Sources of Happiness
While you may have relied on drinking to bring you happiness before, you’ll now need to find new sources of joy. This is a great opportunity to enjoy some of the simpler things in life. Reading a good book, taking a walk in the park, or riding your bike. If you’re feeling restless, you can always take up a new hobby. The challenge will keep your mind occupied, and you’ll develop a skill that you can be proud of. If you’re finding cravings difficult to resist, physical activity is highly recommended. Getting exercise releases endorphins in your body, giving you a feeling of pleasure. This can help you overcome the craving for alcohol, and help you get in shape while you’re at it!